AMD Pre-Announces 64-core Threadripper 3990X: Time To Open Your Walletby Dr. Ian Cutress on November 25, 2019 9:00 AM EST
Ever since AMD announced its latest enterprise platform, Rome, and the EPYC 7002 series, one question that high-end desktop users have been wondering is when the 64-core hardware will filter down into more mainstream markets. White today AMD is announcing their Threadripper 3000 platform with 24-core and 32-core processors, the other part of AMD’s announcement today is that yes, they will be selling 64-core hardware to the masses, in the form of the Threadripper 3990X.
AMD isn’t giving too many details away just yet. As we predicted, there was room at the top of AMD’s naming strategy to expose more Threadripper hardware: one does not simply stop as the 3970X being the most powerful processor, and the 3990X will certainly take the mantle. AMD is announcing today that the 3990X will have 64 cores, 128 threads, and will have the full 256 MB of L3 cache.
The 3990X will be the high-end desktop equivalent of the EPYC 7742. This means that inside it will have eight chiplets, each with 8 cores enabled. This is compared to the 3960X/3970X being announced today, with 24 and 32 cores respectively, which only have four chiplets. We can tell that the four chiplet designs are that way by the L3 cache: when only four chiplets are active, it has 128 MB of L3 cache, however with all eight chiplets, the 3990X will have 256 MB of L3 cache. That’s a sizeable processor, and seemingly unthinkable for a consumer part. However, as we’ve learned from AMD since introducing Ryzen, they like to go aggressive and offer some level of parity between consumer and enterprise hardware.
One thing that will differentiate the 3990X from the EPYC hardware will be memory and PCIe count. We fully expect (although not confirmed) that the 3990X will have quad channel memory and 64 PCIe 4.0 lanes, compared to EPYC which has eight channel memory and 128 PCIe lanes. AMD has also confirmed that the 3990X will have a TDP above and beyond the EPYC 7742's, with the 3990X coming in at 280W TDP. If this seems familiar, then this is the same TDP as the 24-core and 32-core Threadripper parts. As a result, we do expect the per-core frequency of the 3990X to be higher than the EPYC, but lower than the other Threadrippers.
In our testing of the 3970X 32-core hardware, we saw that in the 280W TDP we had around 75W reserved for non-core activities, and 205W for the cores. Non-core activities in this instance means PCIe, Infinity Fabric, and memory channels. Moving up to the 3990X means double the IF connections, but the others stay the same. So even if that means we reserve 100W for non-core activities, that leaves 180 W for 64 cores, or around 3 W each per core when at full load. Based on what we know about Zen 2 frequency scaling with power, around 6 W per core gives 4.0 GHz, so 3 W per core should offer low-to-mid 3.0 GHz all-core frequencies.
This prediction actually fits well: AMD’s 240 W EPYC 7742 is a 2.35 GHz base, 3.2 GHz turbo, so we should expect frequencies north of that. There’s also the EPYC 7H12, a new part recently announced to cater for the high frequency market. Like the 3990X, it also has a 280W TDP, but a 2.6 GHz base frequency, and a 3.3 GHz turbo. There is no official pricing on the 7H12 as yet.
|AMD HEDT SKUs|
|Third Generation Threadripper|
|TR 3990X||64 / 128||2.6+ / 3.3+ ?||256 MB||4 x ?||64 ?||280 W||arm|
|TR 3980X ?*||48 / 96 ?||?||256 MB||4 x ?||64 ?||280 W ?||leg|
|TR 3970X||32 / 64||3.7 / 4.5||128 MB||4x3200||64||280 W||$1999|
|TR 3960X||24 / 48||3.8 / 4.5||128 MB||4x3200||64||280 W||$1399|
|Second Generation Threadripper|
|TR 2990WX||32 / 64||3.0 / 4.2||64 MB||4x2933||64||250 W||$1799|
|TR 2970WX||24 / 48||3.0 / 4.2||64 MB||4x2933||64||250 W||$1299|
|TR 2950X||16 / 32||3.5 / 4.4||32 MB||4x2933||64||180 W||$899|
|TR 2920X||12 / 24||3.5 / 4.3||32 MB||4x2933||64||180 W||$649|
|Ryzen 9 3950X||16 / 32||3.5 / 4.7||32 MB||2x3200||24||105 W||$749|
|* TR 3980X is a theorized part due to a hole in AMD's naming. Specifications are guesses based on trends and potential hardware support.|
AMD is set to launch the Threadripper 3990X in 2020. Unfortunately we don’t get any more info than that at this time, but if we consider the 24-core 3960X at $1399, the 32-core 3970X at $1999, I can easily see this processor being at least $3999, if not more. The EPYC 7742 has an MSRP of $6950, and the 7H12 is higher than that, so the 3990X is going to cost a pretty penny by comparison.
- AMD Q4: 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X, Threadripper Up To 32-Core 3970X, Coming November 25th
- Details About 3rd Generation Ryzen Threadripper Appear: 24 and 32 Cores, Up to 280 W
- TRX40 Chipset For Upcoming AMD Ryzen Threadripper Listed
- Spotted at Computex: A Ryzen PC in a Threadripper RETAIL box
- Computer Upgrade King Shows Off a Compact 32-Core Ryzen Threadripper PC
- AMD’s New 280W 64-Core Rome CPU: The EPYC 7H12
- AMD Rome Second Generation EPYC Review: 2x 64-core Benchmarked
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R0H1T - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link>TR 3980X is a theorized part due to a whole in AMD's naming.
Don't you mean a hole in AMD's naming?
Ryan Smith - Monday, November 25, 2019 - linkPerhaps. Though AMD's naming is quite wholesome, I find.
Dr. Swag - Monday, November 25, 2019 - linkI don't know about you, but I don't see anything wholesome in names like "threadripper."
close - Monday, November 25, 2019 - linkI think Ryan was making a play on words related to the typo above (hole/whole). Also Threadripper was more of an internal/joke name that the team developing it used and it stuck. It's a bit childish but not necessarily bad especially since it's so appropriate. We've been stuck at 8 threads for a decade and in 3 years we have 64+ threads on desktops.
Kjella - Monday, November 25, 2019 - linkIf you were willing to pay $2000 for a processor you've not been stuck at 8 threads. Don't get me wrong, they're cheap for what they're replacing but from a consumer point of view you will pay more than double to get twice the cores with a diminishing gain, it's not exactly a bargain where you get them cheap in bulk. None of these will ever go into a "normal" desktop.
close - Friday, November 29, 2019 - linkI think you're missing the point. Intel never released anything near competitive in terms of pricing because the whole point was to tell you "putting more cores/threads *has* to cost an arm and a leg". A myth also propagated by many tech journalists who insisted in some of their articles that there's no room left for IPC improvements and you can't get CPU core prices down due to complexity thus justifying Intel's stance.
Most CPUs were stuck at up to 4 cores/8 threads. If you look at Intel's X series until the beginning of 2017 they had one 8 core and one 10 core offerings. Since then they had probably 15+ models from 8 to 18 cores. Something must have happened around that time but what?
Enter AMD with a lot more cores and some IPC improvements to to make the market competitive again across the segments.
Major Giroux - Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - linkThe move from 22n to 14n surely allowed to pack more into a die. (that push to 14n occurred in 2014 or 2015 but still)
Trikkiedikkie - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - linkConsumers will hardly buy these things.
For me they will be cheap, as I can do much more work in the same time, so 1 year of use for these things will earn me plenty extra to pay for these things.
It is an investment.
WaltC - Monday, December 2, 2019 - linkMy guesstimation is $3999.
boozed - Monday, November 25, 2019 - linkWhoosh...
On the topic of naming, threadripper is silly but it's better than quadfather!